Senator Gardner Wants His Energy Lobbyist Friend To Run The Department Of The Interior
March 29, 2019
During David Bernhardt’s confirmation hearing to be the next Interior secretary, Senator Gardner made it clear that he wants nothing more than to put his former oil lobbyist friend in charge of America’s public lands. Gardner may try to tout his record on environmental protection and conservation, but his support for an unqualified candidate like Bernhardt makes it clear it’s all a lie.
Senator Gardner has tried to tout his environmental record ahead of his 2020 re-election, but his record doesn’t match his words.
The Journal: “While Gardner and his supporters point to his work getting the LWCF permanently reauthorized in February, not everyone is satisfied with Gardner’s conservation and environmental record. … For example, many Coloradans expressed concern over Gardner’s support of Andrew Wheeler as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, including Nordini who considered it one of the low points of Gardner’s voting history.
The distance between what Gardner says and what he does was apparent yesterday when he introduced Bernhardt at his confirmation hearing – who has pushed policies that would threaten our public lands and environment.
Daily Sentinel: “U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who strongly backs Bernhardt’s nomination, said in introducing him to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee that he believes Bernhardt would become the seventh Interior secretary from Colorado if confirmed.”
New York Times: “Mr. Bernhardt, who has served as deputy secretary since August 2017, has been a powerful force advancing what Mr. Trump has called his ‘energy dominance’ agenda of opening federal lands and waters to oil drilling and energy exploration. He was nominated by Mr. Trump after the departure of Mr. Zinke. He has been dogged through his tenure by accusations of conflicts of interest. In particular, Mr. Bernhardt’s critics contend that, given his past as a lobbyist and lawyer for energy and agricultural interests, his policy decisions stand to benefit former clients.”
Bernhardt has deep industry ties and would be a disaster for the environment and public health as head of the Interior Department.
Washington Post: Bernhardt’s former lobbying work has drawn persistent scrutiny. Since his arrival at the Interior Department in summer 2017, he has had to recuse himself from matters directly affecting at least 26 former clients to adhere to the Trump administration’s ethics requirements. . . . Within months of becoming Zinke’s deputy, Bernhardt played a role in decisions to increase national park fees, roll back endangered species protections enforced by the Fish and Wildlife Service, open massive amounts of public lands to more drilling, and weaken safety rules for ocean oil production platforms.”